The delayed State League season is set to begin this Saturday with Balga SC traveling to Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City.
Here is a full State League Division 2 round one preview thanks to our friends at footballwa.net:
It’s week one of the Football West State League Division Two this weekend and our ‘Match of the Round takes us to Chichester Park on Saturday evening when newly-promoted Kingsley Westside host Wanneroo City in their first ever state league game. (7.00pm) Wanneroo have had a good pre-season and are coming off a big win against Stirling Lions last week and Head Coach Jesse Bridgeman is happy who his squad is looking heading into the season.
“Pre-season went well, very long but I was impressed with the groups commitment considering we had to do two pre seasons really but once full contact training and games started again the squad responded really well,” he explained. “The new faces have settled in really well, we have a very close group so it was quite easy for them, and we have a very welcoming culture at the club, all the staff from the president, secretary, canteen workers all the way down to all junior coaches help the new boys feel welcome and at home.”
Bridgeman said Saturday’s opponents have looked good in preseason as they prepare for their first season in the competition, and he is expecting a tough game. “Kingsley round one will be a cracker of a game, I have many friends down there and I know the hard work they have put in the past few seasons pushing for promotion to state league,” he said. “I could only imagine how pumped up they will be for this game and one I’m really looking forward too, both teams have had good pre seasons and going into this game with a lot of confidence and excitement.”
Kingsway Westside Head Coach Steven Dimitrovich said it’s a huge night for the club on Saturday and he can’t wait. “It’s very big occasion for the club on Saturday night as we play our first game in the state league under our new name Kingsley Westside,” he explained. “There has been a lot of hard work gone into this moment over the last few years and it’s reward for the committee players and supporters of our great club to witness our first game in Saturday football.
“Our preseason has been pretty good and we have built quite nicely since January and am confident that we can have a real impact on this season and the league but we also know that it’s not going to be easy and every game will be just as tough as the last one we played so we need to make sure we are all focused on the game we have coming up and prepare accordingly.”
Like all the teams in the league, Dimitrovich and his players have had to deal with the coronavirus, but he said the players have been excellent and they are primed ready for the opener against Wanneroo City. “Like every club the Covid-19 situation obviously took some edge off the upcoming season but credit to my boys they all came back in great shape as they know standards myself and assistant Stuart Montgomery hold them too and with the new lads down was very pleasing to see them come back in great shape as well and to not lose anyone out of the whole covid-19 situation was very pleasing as well,” the coach explained.
“But what a way to start the season against a very good side in Wanneroo on Saturday night. I don’t think myself or players would’ve wanted in other way and with a few of my boys coming up against their old side will add some extra spice to the game. So, if anyone is at a loose end on Saturday night, get down to Chichester for a 7pm kick off and watch what will hopefully be a great game of football.”
In other games in the opening round, Warren Smith takes charge of his first game at Kelmscott Roos when they travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills, while Rod Banjac’s reign at Dianella White Eagles begins with a trip to Grandis Park to take on Shamrock Rovers. There is a local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve when Gosnells City entertain Canning City, with Chris Finlayson in charge of his first game for Canning as the team’s battle for the ‘Frank Longstaff Trophy’. Tim Cash and Matt Wardle take charge of first game for Curtin University and Murdoch University Melville, when they meet at Murdoch University.
In the final game Joondalup City entertain Balga at Iluka Sports Complex. Balga also have a new coach in the dug-out, with Danny Cain taking the reins of the club, and Saturday will be a tough start for the former Sorrento defender. Joondalup have been in fine form in preseason and Head Coach Nigel Smith said the players can’t wait to get started. “Hopefully we can transform the good football we have played in friendly games to competitive league games when it matters,” Smith said. “We know Saturday will be tough, and Balga will be a hard game, and it will be different to what we have played in pre-season. It’s for three points so it will be a lot more physical, and hopefully the lads can adapt to this and carry on playing the football we are capable off, and start the season with a win.”